18 Promotion Ideas for Your Best Black Friday Yet
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the marketing crème de la crème of the season, increasing the heartbeat of any marketer. BFCM represent the biggest online sales of the year, but each business approaches the occasion differently. It’s not only a one-time opportunity to earn a lot of money but also to push brand awareness in new markets and audiences.
In Voucherify, we breathe sales promotions daily, so I used my expertise to list 18 creative promotion ideas for Black Friday or Cyber Monday (or both) you can use in 2022.
What is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Each year, the biggest sales event occurs at the end of November (26th in 2022) – Black Friday. Cyber Monday comes the following Monday (29th in 2022) and is targeted at ecommerce and online sales.
The history of Black Friday is closely related to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US. Since the holiday is a day off, many Americans also take a day off on Friday, extending their weekend. And clever marketers saw it as an opportunity to encourage shopping and start the Christmas season early.
It’s the busiest time of the year. As the Shopify Black Friday report highlighted, “Shopify store owners collectively made a whopping $6.3 billion USD in sales globally between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a 23% increase from 2020.”
18 Promotion Ideas for Your Best Black Friday Yet
With numbers like these, who can blame you for wanting a piece of this delicious cake? Check out my 18 examples for kick-ass BFCM sales promotions.
1. Gamified amount & percentage discounts
You can rarely go wrong with classics. On Black Friday, customers expect huge discounts – so instead of re-thinking the wheel, you can simply give customers what they want. But, your discounting strategy can be more fun and personalized than a plain BLACKFRIDAY22 code for all visitors (nothing wrong with that either).
Keep in mind the average order size, though. By placing minimum order total thresholds, you can quite successfully offset some of the costs of running BFCM campaigns and generate a much bigger profit overall.
Here are some other ideas on how to add a bit of spice to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts:
- Let customers win a discount in a draw by creating a spin-a-wheel widget on your site. The play-to-win gamification mechanisms work great in ecommerce, driving much higher engagement rates than site-wide sales promotions.
- Try out mystery rewards where customers choose one out of several mystery deals by revealing them with a click.
- Add a countdown timer next to your promotion message to increase urgency.
- If you are running Black Friday discounts offline, consider scratch cards with hidden deals that can be applied at the POS.
- You can run a massive discount on your flagship product to make the offer more attractive.
- If you are afraid your deal will get lost in the flood of Black Friday offers, you could create plenty of promo codes and share them via influencers. It will also help you reach customers who are not on a shopping spree (yet) but just casually browsing social media.
Did you know that the way the price is presented matters? For example, the rule of 100 says that with prices below 100, it is better to use a percentage discount. On the other hand, for prices above 100, amount discounts work better.
2. Tiered discounts
Driving order sizes should be one of your key goals for this BFCM. Tiered discounts and promotions work like a charm for increasing AOVs. They also offset operational costs – fewer but bigger orders are less of a burden on your logistics. Great news amid the constant supply chain disruptions we’ve had this year.
You can differentiate the discount value based on the order total, creating a ladder-like campaign. I’ve seen businesses develop this idea further by offering different discounts based on the cart structure, customer segment, and other business-specific attributes, so feel free to get creative here.
3. Free gifts, samples and shipping
You can offer a free product or service to every qualifying order (for example, an order above a minimum total). Bonus items work very well with luxury brands and products, where excessive discounting can damage the brand image, even on Black Friday.
Companies who tend not to discount their products can still offer incentives, such as free shipping or international shipping (which tends to be expensive). Discounting international shipping or making it free of charge can help to bring new customers to your business.
Alternatively, you can offer free gift packing as a perk if you run a small business. Of course, it will cost you some resources, but it is cheaper than discounts.
4. Product bundles
Product bundles are product combinations sold together at a usually lower price. Businesses use this strategy to move unwanted stock or increase average order size (if minimum order totals are placed on the bundle). It is a good practice to restrict your return policy on bundled products as some customers may abuse the promotion and return the free product to get a refund.
Make sure to follow these steps to success with your Black Friday/Cyber Monday bundles:
- Mixing an expensive product with a cheap one is inefficient. Try mixing similar-value products instead.
- Ensure to make the bundle conditions and their worth easy to understand. Make bundles complex, and you just shot yourself in the foot.
- Make bundling optional – ensure that customers can purchase individual products as well.
5. Gift cards
You don’t have to grant the discount on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You can also postpone the discount application and gain returning visitors. How? By offering gift cards to all customers who purchased from you on Black Friday. For example, you could offer a 10% cashback on all orders made on Black Friday that can be used on future purchases (not on the same day) and expires in one month to ensure the repeat visit happens soon.
Gift cards make customers feel much more special than discounts. With the endowment effect on your side, customers are much more likely to use the gift card credits for fear of missing out on the opportunity.
6. Double loyalty program points
You could focus your Black Friday campaign on loyal customers by granting them double loyalty points on all Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchases. Offering double or extra loyalty points for the purchases made on Black Friday still gives something valuable to customers and brings repeat purchases without melting your budget.
You can consider running other special treats for loyal customers for BFCM – think of expedited free shipping or early access to BF deals or new products. Estee Lauder launched a Black Friday promotion offering double loyalty points for the loyalty club members and a limited edition product (lip gloss set) at a promotional fixed price.
7. Early-bird discounts
BFCM are not limited to separate calendar days – currently, they mark a whole shopping season that starts as early as October and lasts till Christmas. Starting with your sales promotions early is one of the best ways to capture shoppers and stay competitive. You can send promo codes early in a targeted email campaign for Black Friday or run a deal-a-day campaign where your offer sales promotions every day leading up to the big day.
8. Live sales events
Black Friday is no longer a battle for the best deal. Now, customer experience is the battleground. If you already have a social media presence, you can use the new trends of live events and live shopping streamed via social media platforms. Such events usually involve influencer presenters who show and try on different products to drive demand. And social media platforms are getting ready for a new chapter in the history of commerce – social commerce. You can capitalize on this emerging trend by running some live shopping events for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
BOGO (Buy-One-Get-One) deals are one of the most killer tactics for increasing AOVs during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One of the most effective variations of this sales promotion is Buy One, Get Second 50% Off, which can substantially increase the AOV.
You can offer a site-wide BOGO deal, a special product BOGO deal or a product bundle as your Black Friday special promotion. It is a great way to upsell your products. For example, if you were considering a discount ranging from 40-50%, you can offer a BOGO sale instead and sell much more than if you were simply offering a discount.
Need campaign examples? Victoria Emerson, an accessible luxurious jewellery brand, has launched a Black Friday BOGO sale targeted only VIP customers.
10. A deal a day campaigns
You can get started early or continue your BFCM campaign well after the big day. One way to keep things exciting long-term is to run a promotion where the discount type and value change daily.
A variation of this approach to BFCM promotions would be hourly flash sales. You could make your Black Friday promotion fun by launching a couple of flash sales, for example, changing which product is on discount every hour or alternating between discount types and values. Another idea is to offer gradually decreasing discounts, encouraging shoppers to purchase earlier rather than later.
11. Charity campaign
More and more companies are dropping the unsustainable Black Friday traditions in favor of But Nothing days and other charity-related activities. For example, Allbirds, a New Zealand-American company that designs and sells sustainable footwear and apparel, has raised all prices by $1 and claimed they would contribute another $1 to make $2 donations for every product purchased on Black Friday.
12. Giveaways and sweepstakes
You can launch a giveaway where winners will be chosen randomly or an “instant win” campaign where every X customer gets a prize. You can also make your sweepstake more gamified, introducing a “spin to win” campaign where your customers have to spin the wheel, and they get assigned (or not) a discount at random. This variation of sweepstakes and a mystery deal will bring some thrill to your Black Friday camapigns.
This form of Black Friday engagement works exceptionally well for social media channels. You can run a Black Friday promotion on your social media, promoting your profile and incentivizing follows, shares, likes and comments. For example, Kohl’s brilliantly created Black Friday social media campaigns to engage with customers. The company offered a gift card or a sweepstakes entry to customers in return for a response or retweet with their hashtag.
13. Cashback campaigns
Cashback lets customers earn and spend money at the same time. For example, you can offer a 2% cashback on all qualifying purchases (e.g., minimum order total). It’s one of the most desired incentives, which is at the same time easy to manage for a business and simple to understand by customers. It also creates fewer liabilities than a regular loyalty program.
If you already offer some form of cashback in your store, you can double or even triple it during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
14. Free balance to spend
Loss Aversion behavior is a popular marketing psychology tactic – in short, it says that customers are much more likely to engage in behaviors that help them avoid losing something rather than acquiring something new. To tap into this interesting dynamic, you could offer free credits to customers who visit your store on Black Friday. Even better if you can differentiate the number of credits based on customer and order attributes to offer better deals to more loyal customers.
15. Geotargeted campaigns
Geofencing and geotargeting are no longer mysterious and expensive technology available only to retail molochs. Thanks to the abundance of APIs, even smaller players can now afford a clever geotargeted campaign.
You could send offers targeted at those customers who happen to be close to your physical store location on Black Friday, or if you are feeling naughty, you could run a geoconquesting campaign, where you capture your competitor’s traffic. You have a bigger chance to sell to these people, as they are in proximity and probably on a Black Friday shopping spree. You could also send them a unique coupon code expiring the same day to motivate them to visit your store.
16. Partnership campaigns
You don’t have to do BFCM promotions alone, especially if you have a network of partners and affiliates that you can engage in your strategy. A simple way to go about partnership campaigns would be offering a discount for your partner’s services and vice versa, allowing you to expand into new markets and audiences. In addition, co-marketing opportunities that arise as a result of such a campaign are invaluable for capturing new customers unaware of your business.
17. Cart abandonment deals
Even huge discounts can’t always prevent customers from leaving your site too early. On average, 67% of customers abandon carts on ecommerce websites – and this statistic looks even worse for Black Friday, with over 73% of orders dropped. So you can potentially see a massive uplift in cart recovery rates by offering instant bonus discounts on dropped orders.
18. Bonus services
If your margins don’t allow for spray-and-pray promotions everywhere, it doesn’t mean that you can’t capitalize on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. But, it will require some creativity on your side.
If you have a physical store, for example, a cosmetics store, you could offer additional services that day, like a trial make-up. Adding service or a deferred service to the purchases can motivate your customers to place more or higher orders with you, and it does not need to cost you a ton. For examples, Cartier, a luxury brand, offered extended returns on Black Friday shopping.
Black Friday is coming soon. You should do your best to prepare a well-curated list of sales promotions and campaign ideas to consult with the rest of your team. The best strategy is to test your campaigns before Black Friday or launch A/B tests on Black Friday to prepare even better for 2023. Adding personalization, creativity and gamification to your creatives or promotion settings would be a great addition to your Black Friday marketing strategy.
To run personalized promotions with built-in tracking on Black Friday, you need a powerful Promotion Engine. If you need a Promotion Engine to power your Black Friday promotions in 2022 and beyond, we are happy to assist in delivering world-class promotion infrastructure.
Run your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns with Voucherify